Today is an important day for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
Two years ago, the Blood Tribe Department of Health challenged the legality of an order by the Privacy Commissioner to produce documents needed for an investigation. The Blood Tribe Department of Health argued that the documents being requested were subject to solicitor-client privilege and refused to hand them over. (See our news release for more information.)
The Federal Court ruled that the Privacy Commissioner had the authority to compel production of the documents in order to effectively conduct an investigation. The decision was later overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal.
The decision by the Federal Court of Appeal weakened the Commissioner’s investigative power. From both legal and practical standpoints, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner felt an appeal was necessary.
Today, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case. Their decision will ultimately determine the limit to which the Commissioner can carry out her mandate under PIPEDA.